Health Care Decisions
Some people with Alzheimer’s are able to make decisions about their own health care beyond the early stage of the disease. But because the course of the disease can vary, the best time to begin thinking about the future is as soon after diagnosis as possible. Start talking to your loved one and family members and educating yourself on the options available.
When someone you know is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, legal matters aren’t exactly the first thing on your mind. That said, it’s important to take care of these issues—and involve your loved one if they’re still able to make decisions.
FOLLOWING THE ALZHEIMER’S DIAGNOSIS, YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONE SHOULD:
HERE IS INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE DOCUMENTS YOU’LL WANT TO CONSIDER:
Alzheimer’s disease may make new demands on your loved one's financial situation and managing his or her finances alone can be difficult. Work together with your loved one if possible (as early on as you can) to arrange for additional assistance when it’s needed. Getting those numbers to add up doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think it does.
Organizing Your Loved One’s Paperwork
The first thing to do is locate important financial papers. Knowing where these key items are will help you handle things more easily in the future:
- insurance policies
- stock certificates and investment statements
- property and car titles
- retirement or disability benefits
The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease means that the two of you, and perhaps other members of your family, need to make some financial and legal decisions. It is important to plan now so that the person with Alzheimer's disease will be able to participate fully in decision making.
Among the things you will need to consider is the cost of care. Alzheimer's disease care can be costly. Families may pay close to $40,000 a year for home health aides. For those living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, the cost may vary from $40,000 to more than $70,000 a year. These costs are not paid by most health insurance policies or Medicare.